Tag Archives: Twin

Libre, Hillclimbing, Guernsey Bus – Chevron Cosworth B17C #F2-70-2

Alongside the production of nine Formula 3 Chevron B17 1 litre / 61 cui “Screamer” Formula 3 cars Chevron built 5 examples of the B17B powered by Vegatune Ford Twin Cam engines in 1598cc / 97.5 cui form for US based SCCA Formula B competitors and two B17C’s one with a 1598 cc / 91.5 cui Cosworth FVA engine to compete in Formula 2 and the other today’s featured chassis #F2-70-2 which was originally supplied to compete in Formula Libre events.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

Steve Thompson had the car fitted with a 1790 cc / 109.2 cui Cosworth FVC engine and is believed to have won at least 14 Formula Libre races with the car in 1970. The ownership trail then includes Frank Mumford and Alex Seldon, the latter is believed to have fitted the car with a 2 litre / 122 cui BDA in 1972, but neither owner is known to have competed with the car.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Martin Bullock, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

In November 1972 Malcom Brown is believed to have raced the car at Brands Hatch and in April the following year Richard Leech drove the car in a Libre event as Castle Combe, Deryck Cook advertised the car for sale now powered by a Ford Twin Cam before Philip Sandwith in Guernsey bought it from Spencer Elton in Wiltshire.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Martin Bullock, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

Philip competed in hill climb events from 1975 to 1978 with #F2-70-2 now fitted with a Holbay twin cam engine that helped him secure numerous class records, Guernsey Bus garage manager Mike le Cras ran the car at the Le Val des Terres hill climb in St Peter Port Guernsey in 1983.

Chevron Cosworth B17C, Martin Bullock, Silverstone Classic, Press Day

The ownership trail then leads to Australian Martin Bullock who is seen driving the car in these photographs at the Silverstone Classic press day in 2013, with a 1967 – 1971 Formula 2 spec Cosworth FVA fitted. More details on this car can be found on Allen Brown’s Old Racing Cars.com website.

Thanks for joining me on this “Libre, Hillclimbing, Guernsey Bus” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be revisiting Nottingham circa 1985. Don’t forget to come back now !


Twin Barrel Carb – Peugeot 304 Cabriolet

On the 23rd of April 1965 Peugeot launched it small front wheel drive family car the 204 powered by a 53 hp motor that would be fitted to a range of body styles that included a sedan/saloon/berline, convertible/cabriolet, hatchback/coupe, estate/wagon, and a van.

Peugeot 304 Convertible, Bristol and South Gloucestershire Stationary Engine Club Rally

Between 1969 and 1971 the 204 was the best selling car in France and leading up to this success Peugeot spotted a gap in the market for a mid size car that was larger than the 204 but smaller than the large rear wheel drive 504 that had been voted European Car of the Year upon it’s launch in 1968.

Peuget 304 Convertible, Castle Combe,

The mid size 304 shared many features with the 204 including it’s drive train with a by now uprated 65hp engine, mid chassis pan and front doors, all of which saved tremendous costs and increased the viability of the 304 which was styled by Pininfarina to mimic the larger 504 with a larger rear over hang than the 204.

Peugeot 304 Convertible, Bristol and South Gloucestershire Stationary Engine Club Rally

The 304 was launched in 1969 with fully independent suspension, floor mounted gear shift, front disc brakes and head lights that could easily be adjusted for driving on the left or the right according to the local market needs at the point of sale.

Peuget 304 Convertible, Castle Combe,

The cabriolet 304 was introduced in March 1970 alongside a coupé both of which replaced equivalent 204 models in the Peugeot range.

Peuget 304 Convertible, Castle Combe,

In March 1972 the 304 Cabriolet and Coupé were the first to receive a further uprated ‘S’ motor with a a twin choke/twin barrel carburetor that produced 75 hp, however these two models were deleted from the Peugeot range and not replaced in July 1972 and August 1973 respectively, almost certainly as a result of the recession which stalled global economies as an outcome of the oil crisis. The estate / wagon continued in production until 1980 by which time a new 305 series had been introduced to replace it.

Today’s featured 304 Cabriolet seen at Castle Combe with the roof down and at the South Gloucestershire Stationary Engine Club Rally, Coalpit Heath, Gloucestershire was one of the last to be built and not registered in the UK until May 1975 nearly three years after it had been built.

Thanks for joining me on this “Twin Barrel Carb” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting a Golf Mk IV owners camp. Don’t forget to come back now !


Electronic Clutch & Four Pedals – Lotus Ford 76 #76/1 (JPS 9)

I remember when I first set eyes on the publicity photo’s of the Lotus 76, my reaction was an instant WOW ! The two team cars which had been completed a little late were to replace the venerable Lotus 72 and be driven by Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx in the 1974 season starting at the South African Grand Prix.

The new car was intended to be slimmer and lighter than the Lotus 72 which had helped Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi to win World Drivers Championships in 1970 and 1972 and helped Lotus secure the World Constructors Championship in 1970, ’72 and ’73.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

Innovations on the car included an electronic clutch operated by a button on the gear stick, except when starting from rest for smoother gear changes. Two brake pedals were fitted either side of the steering column operating a single split leaver to encourage left foot breaking to minimise the upset of the balance of the car when approaching corners and two thin, for the period, rear wings mounted one above the other.

Much to the consternation of the press and Lotus fans Colin Chapman sold the naming rights to the Lotus 76 which for the 1974 season was to be known as a John Player Special the chassis number of the car seen here at Goodwood was referred to as JPS 9 though the chassis was unofficially referred to in the press and by enthusiasts as 76/1.

Lotus 76, Silverstone Classic

A pattern of retirements set in at the South African GP which was to repeat itself until by the Monaco Grand Prix Lotus Team had decided to revive the Lotus 72 which Ronnie Peterson promptly drove to the first of 3 against the odds victories during the season.

Development of Lotus 76 was split between the ageing Lotus 72 during 1974, to generate more down force larger front wings and the larger rear wing of the Lotus 72 were fitted to the Lotus 76 which appeared in Belgium.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

With the 76 having been observed to be popping wheelies after additional down force had been added the front nose cone was then replaced with a cut down version from the Lotus 72, the radiators moved from ahead of the rear wheels to behind the front wheels and horizontal boards were added along the top of chassis between the front and rear wheels as seen in this linked photo of 76/2 (JPS 10) at the 1974 British GP.

By now the 76 was being taken to races purely in case of an emergency and during practice of the 1974 German Grand Prix such such an emergency arose after Ronnie Peterson crashed Lotus 72/8. The team had no option but to press the by now overweight and unloved 76 back into service and did so by grafting the rear suspension engine and gearbox from the wrecked 72 onto the back of 76/2 (JPS 10). With the car now looking more like it’s predecessor Lotus 72 than a Lotus 76 Ronnie Peterson recorded the 76’s only finish with a forth place on the toughest circuit on the calender !

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

After confusion about Mario Andretti starting from 3rd place in the 1974 US Grand Prix, in his Parnelli, third Lotus driver Tim Schenken took the flag of the 1974 US Grand Prix only to be disqualified for being outside the top 26 qualifiers as Andretti had managed to get his car onto the grid, ironically only to be also disqualified for a push start away from the line ! This was Schenken’s and the Lotus 76 last Grand Prix start.

However this was not quite the end of the Lotus 76 story, Colin Chapman was a long time member of a motor club in North London and after a little badgering for ‘something a bit quick’ from fellow long time member, David Render, who participated in Sprints and Hillclimbs, Colin relented and told his friend to turn up at the Lotus factory at Hethel with a trailer.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

When David turned up at Hethel early in 1976 he saw this huge black car with twin wings and asked who is this for ? He was quite surprised to learn that it was intended for him !

David drove what is believed to be 76/2 (JPS 10), in original lightweight form, for 2 years and among many victories won the 1976 Brighton Speed Trials when the event was run over a standing kilometer 0.6 miles and clocked a time of 18.77 seconds reaching a 118 mph as he crossed the line.

Lotus 76, Goodwood FoS

At a recent talk, David gave to the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, he related how on finding the car suffered from terrible understeer / push he added a lump of lead, taken from his old Allard trials car, beneath the nose cone of the 76 and that solved the problem, though he never told Colin ‘Added Lightness’ Chapman what he had done.

The car featured in today’s post 76/1 (JPS 9) seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed and at the 2011 Silverstone Classic belongs to Andrew Beaumont. According to Classic Team Lotus during the first of two races at the 2011 Silverstone Classic meeting Andrew’s double rear wing got savaged, but it did not have much detriment to the performance of the car and he finished 22nd.

John Barnard eventually perfected a semi automatic electronic clutch and gearshift mechanism with a steering wheel mounted paddle shift for the 1989 Ferrari 640 which won first time out at the Brazilian GP in the hands of Nigel Mansell. This system is now de riguer in almost all top line racing cars.

My thanks to MCS, Gregor Marshall, and Tim Murray on the Lotus 76 thread at The Nostlgia Thread who helped identify a Lotus 76 at the Abbaye de Stavelot Museum as the possible home of the second Lotus 76 chassis #76/2 (JPS10).

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Electronic Clutch & Four Pedals’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at last weekend’s Auto Italia Day at Brooklands. Don’t forget to come back now !


Big Valve Special – Lotus 74 Europa Special

In 1971 Chief Engineer Mike Kimberley oversaw the development of the upgraded Lotus Europa Twin Cam Type 74. featuring a 105 hp Twin Cam motor coupled with a stronger Renault 4 speed gearbox.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

The upgraded Europa featured a 105 hp Twin Cam motor coupled with a stronger Renault 4 speed gearbox.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

After the first 1580 Europa Twin Cams has been built the Europa model was again upgraded with a 126 hp ‘big valve variant of the twin cam motor.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

The first 200 ‘Big Valve’ Europa’s were planned as a limited ‘Europa Special’ edition of 200 featuring the black and gold “John Player Special”, tobacco brand, paint work of the works Lotus Racing cars which won the 1972 World Constructors Championship and World Drivers Championship with Emerson Fittipaldi at the wheel.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

The 200 ‘Europa Special’ limited edition vehicles, all featuring a 5 speed gearbox, launched in September 1972 are distinguishable by a numbered badge on the dash panel.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

Such was the popularity of the Europa Special that the model was continued after the initial planned batch of 200 had been built sans numbered dashboard badges and in a variety of colours including black and gold until 1975.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

I was unable to discern if the 1972 Europa Special seen here is one of the first 200 numbered cars, or one of post limited edition models, when I saw it at last years Goodwood Festival of Speed. Note how the rear bodywork has been tidied up to give better rear visibility when compared to the Type 54 Europa I looked at last week.

Lotus Europa Special, Goodwood FoS

A Europa with the big valve motor was tested in period carrying a passenger from rest to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and with a maximum speed of 122 mph. In all 3130 big valve Europa Specials were built from September 1972 to 1975.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Big Valve Special’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho’ on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be reviewing last weeks Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival. Don’t forget to come back now !

12 05 09 Lotus Type 74 disambiguation, it has come to light that at least one internet source lists two Lotus Type 74’s one the Europa Twin Cam / Europa Special and the other an open wheel Formula 2 car, former Lotus employee Rob, Kayemod on The Nostalgia Forum, has kindly informed me that the Formula 2 cars were only ever referred to at the Lotus factory as “Texaco Stars” in deference to their sponsor and that the Type 74 designation seems to have been applied to the racing car retrospectively.


Coming up Short – Triumph TR8 Twin Turbo

All of motor sport is littered with heroic failure and there is possibly none less understandable than the Janspeed Engineering Triumph TR8 twin turbo, when one considers John Buffum’s success with the TR8 on the US Rally Stages in North America and Bob Tuliis equally outstanding success with his TR8 on the race tracks, so much in fact Bob was forced into a successful switch from SCCA to IMSA series.

80 05 11 #14 TR8 00 Bsc

Like the Buffum and Tullis programmes Janspeed’s Le Mans programme had absolutely zero factory backing but unlike Buffum and Tullis, Janspeed did not even have a budget to run the car let alone test it.

80 05 11 #14 TR8 01 Bsc

Legend has it that this vehicle started life as a left hand drive test hack used by Janspeed on behalf of British Leyand, when the tests had been completed Jan Odour acquired the vehicle with the intention of preparing it for a British modified series, however a change of rules in that series, around 1977, led Jan Odour to attempt something far more ambitious namely to take on the onslaught of Group 5 Porsche 935‘s in the World Sports Car series.

80 05 11 #14 TR8 02 Bsc

The Janspeed TR8 ran with a dry sumped twin turbo version of the all alloy Olds/Buick V8 design purchased by Rover and was said to produce over 500 hp, but it failed to set a qualifying time on it’s debut at Silverstone in 1980, where the car was loaned out to ADA Engineering in a vane effort to get the car onto the track.

Later at Le Mans despite being recorded travelling in excess of 200 mph on the Mulsanne the car failed to qualify.

81 05 09 #29 TR8 01 Bsc

I remember looking forward to seeing what the TR8 could do when I returned to Silverstone in 1981, despite arriving in time to catch qualifying I was already too late, the car had been crashed and withdrawn from the race much to my disappointment.

Later in 1981 the car ran again at Brands Hatch where it qualified but failed to finish after a spin and a stall, unfortunately I was in Germany at the time so I never did get to see possibly my all time favourite Triumph run.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s twin turbo edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at a truly unique vehicle that was perhaps just an on board sick bag short of reaching production. Don’t forget to come back now !